Late Friday afternoon, Governor Rick Scott announced the state is sending a 2.7 million dollar National Emergency Grant to Franklin County to help struggling seafood workers.
The money is coming from the US Department of Labor to off-set some of the impacts Tropical Storm Debby had on Apalachicola Bay.
It will pay the salaries of 200 dislocated oystermen, who will be hired to reshell the bay with live and dead oyster material collected from unaffected areas of the bay.
The reshelling will help restore the oyster beds damaged by the storm.
Governor Scott requested the federal funds after visiting Franklin County oystermen back in October.
"Boy, you saw their frustration and desire to return to work they have. The bay was, the fisheries and oysters were harmed. We weren't being able to get the fish and oysters out of there. I applied for a National Emergency Grant, and we received it. 2.7 million dollars. It’s going to put 200 dislocated oystermen back to work, and they 're going to help that affected area of the bay get back to where we an get the oysters going again," said Scott.
The Gulf Coast Workforce Board will begin hiring the oystermen in matter of days. The money will keep the reshelling project operating through June 30th, 2013.